It happened again.
I forgot who I serve. All because it was 2 AM.
By the light of day, I trust Him. I spout the verses that assure me of His might and grace. I smile confidently because the things I tell myself about Him aren’t just things I tell myself, they’re the absolute TRUTH.
But 2 Am is sneaky. It passes by without bothering me for awhile. I sleep soundly, peacefully through it for weeks. And then one random night, my eyes fly open and I feel every muscle in my body tense. My hearing has improved exponentially and my stomach feels like lead. I climb from my sheets and creep down the hall. I peer out my kitchen window on to the empty street, scanning for movement. My fingers slide across each dead bolt and every window lock. I steal into my boys’ rooms and watch the rise and fall of their bellies. I whisper faithless prayers for their protection. Then I slip back down in my bed, eyes wide open. I contemplate waking my husband, but what would I tell him? Fear blankets me for hours.
Maybe it’s the dark. Perhaps it is the stillness. It could easily be too many hours watching the 10 o’clock news. My overactive imagination surely bears some guilt.
When I wake up the morning after a 2 AM night, guilt greets me like an all-to-eager pup licking my face. How could I be so irrational? So untrusting? I beat myself up as soon as my feet hit the floor and I am defeated before my day even begins.
Satan, for the win.
Unless I see it for what it actually is, a reality of my flesh. Sin. Struggle.
I rationalize my fear. I declare I am simply aware, responsible, conscientious, and most of all prepared. I listen to the voice that says the safety of my family is my job. If I am not on my toes, and bad things happen, it’s my fault. I give myself a whole lot of power.
It’s all a smoke screen. Healthy responsibility doesn’t cripple. Reasonable preparation doesn’t debilitate. To deal with it, I have to call it what it is, inability to trust, belief that I am more capable than the God of the universe. I name it, sin.
And then the miracle of repentance is unleashed. I am free. Free from 2 AM fear? Not necessarily. Free from sinning again? Definitely not.
Free to release. I can unclench my fists and let fall the pieces of my false responsibility, and my desperation for control. I can exhale the heavy weight of “all by myself” and see truth.
The truth is He’s got this. Every minute of every hour of every day of every person in my home are known to Him. And just in case I’m tempted to believe He’s out there somewhere just watching them all play out, His Word assures me that He is in my corner.
“… God assured us, ‘ I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,’ we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?”
As I release my fear, my sin to Him, He is faithful to offer me compassion and a better way. When the guilt that Satan would choose to warp into despair tempts me to look down, and I instead choose to look up, I see the eyes of my Savior whose love already conquered my 2 AM nights.
By Sarah Roberts, at October Always
photo by jspad
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Oh Sarah~this is so magical and wonderful and true and relevant in every single way!!! I can relate to ever letter you typed. This is beautiful. I am sending it on to friends!
Your words made my morning. Thank you for taking the time to be so kind. I’m very, very glad you liked it. – Sarah
Shelly Wildman says
I heard the greatest quote this weekend that seemed appropriate here: “Never forget in the dark what you knew to be true in the light.”
Exactly! And I don’t know about you, but that is one of my greatest struggles! Thanks for the reminder!
I need to read this this morning. I woke this morning with a heavy spirit and full of dread. It was one of those mornings that is hard to shake. In fact, I haven’t shook that “feeling” yet. Like you said, I need to view my defeat for what it is: “…for what it actually is, a reality of my flesh. Sin. Struggle.” Thank you
Oh yes, I know that feeling well. I hope this helped a little. Thank you for taking the time to share that you know what I’m talking about! Have a MUCH better morning!
Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama says
This is so so so great. Thank you for this wisdom – for me it’s those 2am baby shifts that can send us into doubt spirals – thank you for the God is God all around the clock reminders!
I am living that right now! 2AM, 3AM, etc… with my 7 month old! What IS it about the middle of the night that makes everything seem so hard to overcome!? Thank you for your encouragement. I am grateful.
the domestic fringe says
Great post! I’m going to remember it the next time I wake up stressed beyond belief for no reason at all. Thank you.
It happens too often, doesn’t it? Thank you for your encouragement. I truly appreciate it!
This is so spot-on, that I’m only to print it out and place it on my beside table. The next time I wake up to wrestle at 2 AM, I’m planning on reading your gentle reminder. Thanks for a great post!
Okay, that is extremely kind of you. I now have a lump in my throat. It means so much to me that someone out there knows what I’m talking about! Thankful for your generous encouragement this morning.
Thank you for the reminder! So needed to hear that today!
Thanks for reading and for your kind comment! Have a great day!
I’ve been living this for decades, my children now young adults, me still whispering those sometimes-faithing, sometimes-not faithing, prayers in darkness, eyes wide-open, slipping out of bed to re-check all those things. I, too, beat myself up for not trusting. Thank you for reminding that He is there, always, that I can pull back my fingers and let the fears and failings fly up.
It’s a process, isn’t it? I know I’ll never totally conquer it, but I am thankful for a Savior whose mercies are new every morning. Bless you for your beautiful words.
Beth WIlliams says
I have no kids, but still have 2 AM, 4AM & other early morning times. I have trained myself that when I wake up to just lay there & pray about situations & people. I can usually fall right back to sleep.
It’s all about trusting the Lord of the Universe that made us all & placed us in this time and space.
Thanks for a great post!@
Oh yes, my 2 AM nights happened well before I had children too! Thank you for that perspective. It IS all about trusting Him. So easy to forget. I’m so glad He’s gentle with me when I am so untrusting. Thank you for your wisdom and you encouragement.
Lindsey van Niekerk says
Oh for different reasons, I, too, often get that middle of the night fear! Thank you for sharing this…it is nice to know I am not alone in the darkness anxieties!
I know! SO nice to know I’m not alone! I have worried that everyone would think I was totally crazy! 🙂
Thank you. I too deal with an over-zealous sense of responsibility for everyone in my life. And have been praying about it. Thank you for reminding me that it is sin — and that God is there, ready and willing to be with me and those in my life.
Sherry, I am with you. It’s a battle to refocus on who is really caring for us and those we love. Someone once reminded me that when I assume I’m in charge of it all, it’s a form of unbelief. Ouch, but true. He can do what He says He can do! Have a wonderful day.
Hi! I just wanted you to know that God so gently spoke to my sometimes un-trusting heart through you today. Over the last months I have been learning to trust Him more in some areas but in the area of my family it is so hard to let go of them into God’s hands even though I know they are strong and capable and loving. Thank you for allowing Him to use you. Your words have made a difference in me today. 🙂
And your words have made a difference in me. Thank you for your kindness. It means so much.
Amy Hunt says
This is amazing. It’s amazing in that God reaches down inside us to See. When we’re most vulnerable, weakest and just struggle with our honesty, He gently calls us out and in the admitting (of our fear to trust Him), He helps us to See Him so much more. It’s just such amazing grace.
And your words, they are such sweet honey. Truly. Your words make a difference. And He moves through them. (and…your fear…your telling about it…it’s such beautiful worship! It brings others into the Light.)
Rich blessings as He leads you to greater trust…moment by blessed moment.
Thank you so much. Taking the time to let me know this touches my heart. Bless you.
WOW. You have no idea how perfect this post is for me. I have been struggling myself for the past week.. i am awake till 2-3 am in the morning and worried. Scared of the protection of my family and me. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and encouraging words. May He give me the grace and strength to trust Him and be secure. God bless you.
I am very glad that this helps you, but I am NOT glad that you have been so worried. I truly hope you are able to have a more peaceful week. Thank you for your kindness.
This is so powerful to me this morning. I am going to print it off and keep it in my Bible. You see, we are in the middle of an adoption, and lately fear has gripped me…especially in the middle of the night. Your message was so relevant, so convicting, and so powerful to me today. Thanks for the reminder that I am safe in His hands. And so is my family.
Thank you so much for this post. I have been sitting here searching for an address on fear. I fight fear, especially in the early morning like you do, but even throughout the day – fear of our increasingly selfish and biased society, fear of the corruption in our country and world’s leaders, fear of loss. It always seems worse in the early morning, and for a long time I thought I was alone.
Now if only I could get over it the rest of the day! (The first step would be not to read or listen to the news.)